skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97664 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: When the Victim Is a Child - Issues for Judges and Prosecutors
Author(s): D Whitcomb; E R Shapiro; L D Stellwagen
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 137
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: J-LEAA-011-81
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reviews research on the problems of child witnesses in the criminal justice system, identifies special needs of child witnesses, and examines State laws intended to reduce the trauma of trial preparation and court appearances for child victims of sexual abuse.
Abstract: Special attention was focused on the criminal justice system's treatment of child sex abuse victims. The analysis, based on raw data from the American Bar Association's 1981 mail survey of prosecutorial practices used with child victims, identified jurisdictions implementing progressive approaches in working with child victims. Of these jurisdictions, Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wis.; Orlando, Fla.; and Ventura, Calif.; received indepth investigations. Legislative issues addressed and procedures used in these jurisdictions pertain to the competency of child witnesses, the exclusion of trial spectators, avoidance of direct confrontation, videotaped depositions and statements, special exceptions to hearsay, and the use of expert witnesses. Other innovations are the use of victim advocates and the streamlining of the adjudication process. Reforms favored by this study include the abolition of special competency requirements for children and the adoption of special hearsay exceptions to admit certain out-of-court statements. Appendixes contain guidelines for interviewing child victims, conditions for the use of videotaped testimony, and guidelines for such videotaping. Tables and exhibits.
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Children in the courtroom; Competency to testify; Expert witnesses; Hearsay evidence; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.